Young Yemeni Entrepreneurs: Overview of the 8th Summit in Brussels (Part II) [Archives:2001/25/Business & Economy]

June 18 2001

Nadia Al-Saqqaf
Yemen Times
Yemen Feed Company
Yemen Feed Company was established in 1999. It is considered the most modern factory of its kind in Yemen. Experienced and qualified personnel from Yemen and Jordan operate the company, and is operated through a sophisticated computerizes system.
The company’s main products are ready chicken feed with a product capacity of 24,000 sack per year and fish-meal and pelted feed as well. It depends entirely on locally available raw material to produce the chicken feed.
The company markets in Yemen and exports to the outside of Yemen as well.
Yemen Feed Company also participated in the 8th summit for Young entrepreneurs. Ms. Najat Gumman, general manger of the company, told YT that the Institute of Leadership Development ,York University in Canada invited her, because she had participated in the 7th summit last year.
Her participation in the conference was in order to contribute to the joint ventures program and in order to gain more experience in project planning and implementation fields.
“This time, there weren’t samples of real stories of successful investors, or young entrepreneurs like there was last year, there was more focus on medium scale industries and there were talks about logistics, exporting and transport of goods with least expenses. There were also discussions regarding investment relations which we benefited from. This time I came out with a tentative agreement to corporate with an Ethiopian and a South African businesswoman so that I could provide them with fertilizers and animal food.”
Whether she would recommend such summits in Yemen, she said: “Sure! It would be less expensive than having an international one. And we do have many qualifications and good business men and women whom we could benefit from their experiences and their projects. It would be a good means to incorporate and to make local investments in the country. Most of the participants in the 8th summit were like us, young entrepreneurs who have just began their careers and hence it was not possible to make that many deals with them, for they too needed someone with more experience and money to support them. It would have been useful if some more experienced and richer investors attended so that we can incorporate together and they can help us in our business”.

Al Farouk Institute of Languages and Computer
Founded in 1993 to teach languages and computing. It provides a good education to its students through highly qualified, and competent staff trained to teach both Arabic and English.
The ministry of education approves the institute. In addition it is the sole representative in Yemen of the ST GILES College of the UK and the USA, as well as the OXFORD Language Center in London.
Al Farouk Institute of Language and Computers Participated in this summit upon a direct invitation from the ILD, York as well as an invitation from UNCTAD in Geneva. The institute received a questionnaire in March containing questions regarding the institute and its activities. After which they were selected and invited to the summit.
“It was the first time I participated in such a summit, I was not prepared completely for what I found there, and I did not know whom to contact here in Yemen for any kind of guidance. In Brussels, I met with many young entrepreneurs like myself, but they were from other fields and rarely did I find any from the educational sector. I could not make any contracts or agreements as such, but I did gain a good experience and made good relations with international companies. The lectures were interesting, and I found out that the problems we face here in Yemen are being faced in most of the least developed countries, so it was some kind of consolation. However they did have solutions, which I hope to make use of, only if the bureaucratic procedures are reduced and we were encouraged instead of being discouraged. The most beneficial part of it is the huge material they gave us in forms of CDs and books. These references are valuable and I am making use of them in my institution. My students therefore are getting very good education of high standards.”As for what’s next, Mr. Farouk said that he wishes that some kind of follow up was there. Lots of money can be saved if only there was focus on the private sector and their education. He mentioned that it was repeated in the conference that now is the era of the private sector and it is the time there is an industrial boom in the Least Developed Countries through these sectors.
The kind of problems faced here in Yemen are many, he told the YT. But he emphasized on the point that there is no implementation of the law. The taxation is not based on any standard or reference and so is the water bills and the rest. “They only come when it is time to collect the money, they hardly know what actual expenditure there is, all they do is estimate and then we have to bargain!” he exclaimed.
Al-Farouk Institute is doing a lot of voluntarily work as well, the provide free scholarships for disabled students and they make it a point to create a healthy entertaining environment for their students. Visitors of the institute will realize the informal professional atmosphere existing there.
Al Amal National Company
Al Amal National Company, Represented by Mr. Ibrahim Al-Nwar, Vice DG participated in the summit after his contacting the ILD just one week before the conference. And luckily he was able to attend. He too had to fill a questionnaire regarding the company on which his participation was approved.
He was impressed by the high standard of the conference, especially that well known personalities attended such as UN General Secretary Mr. Kofi Anan, HE. King of Belgium, President Jack Shiraque and Mr. Ricupero Secretary General of UNCTAD among many others.
however, he commented on the fact that there was no attention given to the Yemenis participating in the conference by the embassy, although many embassies invited their citizens over for dinner parties and gathering, another disappointing fact is the problems they faced regarding the visa where the Dutch embassy did not grant them a Chengan permit although they knew the had to travel via Rome, which cause them complications at the airport.
“It was a chance for me to see what the rest of the world is doing, and what great potentials there are for us as the private sector if only we had the right means of contacts and procedures. I did come out with good deals especially with an Irish company called Philip, as I became their representative in Yemen for their CD Business card software product. This CD contains all the information about a certain company and could be used as a business card. I realize that most of the LDCs suffer the same obstacles we suffer here in Yemen. And I hope that there would be a way for us to over come them, especially that there was an optimistic atmosphere indicating that things will get better.” He said.